Twinkling in the pre-show darkness of Madison Square Garden, you could see thousands of neon red devil horns everywhere. Hordes of crazed, heavy metal burnouts basking in wafting clouds of second-hand marijuana smoke, which I happily inhaled as well, as we all waited for that mysterious train of rock and roll nostalgia to pull into New York City. And soon the mighty AC/DC roared back into the present with the pure thunder of their legendary arena rock anthems as if they were still at the glorious height of the 1970’s.
Now there was a time when I would not have allowed myself to enjoy such a shameless reunion tour. It offends me when a bunch of old geezers who used to be rock gods run through their greatest hits, collect a fat check and move on to the next city to prey upon the fond memories their fans have again and again. And because the government has not instituted a Logan’s Run-style euthanasia policy to kill aging rock stars who refuse to quit even when most of their original band-mates and fans have died, we are forced to endure most of these ridiculous reunion tours. (Note to Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin: If you guys even think of touring without Robert Plant, I will find you.)
But thanks to the mind-bending might of Angus Young’s guitar playing and his frightening ability to turn into a 14 year-old Catholic schoolboy gone completely mad, this concert was more than just nostalgia for profit. This was a chance to relive the spectacle that heavy metal concerts once were in days long past. No existentialist pangs of post-modern emo depression or lovelorn ballads that call for the required lighter to be raised in the dark. Nothing more and nothing less than the down and dirty musical one night stand that AC/DC’s music is all about. And when the show ended, the band exited the arena without a long goodbye. They just left cab fare on the dresser and told us all to get the fuck out. And you know what? We loved it – and we will probably all wait for another of our long-lost rock and roll heroes to pull into town and use us like the desperate nostalgia whores we are again and again.
Hereâ€™s just a taste of what you missed
AC/DC @ MSG on November 12, 2008 playing â€œHellâ€™s Bellsâ€